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HOW DROUGHT TOLERANT ARE WILDFLOWERS?

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

We've now had 3 very dry hot summers, in the last 5 years. This one was particularly record-breaking, if you live in the East, Midlands or South. And my guess is that there are more hot summers to come. It will be the norm.

So, we thought we'd share with you our list of the most drought tolerant wildflowers we sell - those that can take many weeks without water once established (year 2/3 onwards). We make our recommendations based on watching the plants in actual meadows, over the last 2 years, and this information updates any earlier blogs.


Grade A: still flower in hot dry summers, even when the grass has completely browned.

  • Yarrow

  • Common Knapweed

  • Viper's Bugloss

  • Bird's Foot Trefoil

Grade B: still usually do OK. May brown and stop flowering when the grass 'dies', but will flower again after rain. The grass will come back too if you have a meadow/lawn.

  • Wild Chicory

  • Field Scabious

  • Ox-eye Daisy

  • Self Heal

  • White Campion

Grade D: will die in prolonged drought. Try to water if you can do so responsibly.

  • Ragged Robin

  • Purple Loosestrife

  • Meadowsweet

  • Jacob's Ladder

  • Hemp Agrimony

Everything else we sell is a Grade C. You might lose it in drought, but more likely it will die back to the soil, and come again after good rain.


What would we call a drought?

Well from a wildflower perspective...

  • 4 weeks without proper rain

  • 10 weeks with only occasional showers/storms

Beyond this, all but Grade A varieties above, will struggle and not be at their best.

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